Alumni who are StargazersAlumni, donors, staff, and friends of camp gathered in early November for the Beach Party fund-raiser and to celebrate the 50th year of YMCA Camp Surf. This year the annual event was kicked off with the dedication of Founder’s Flagpole. The campfire area is known as "Pirate’s Cove," and the flagpole continued with that theme. The actual pole is a wooden yard arm retired form a Navy ship. It sits on the stern of a ship (built by the talented camp facility team), complete with decks, railing, brass bell, ship wheel, and even a cannon ball hole! The ship is named the Stargazer, which is also the name of a prestigious award given by Camp Surf.

"Stargazers" are individuals who have had significant impact on the growth, development, and success of YMCA Camp Surf. This year four individuals were recognized: Keith Fargo,  son of Capt. Bill Fargo, camp historian, long-time board member and past board chair; Jeff Wohler & Ron Rouse,  two alumni board members who lead the effort and worked with both legislators and the US Navy to negotiate a 50 year lease for Camp Surf in 1994; and Mark Thompson, who transformed both programs and facility as the longest serving camp director during the first 50 years of YMCA Camp Surf.

YMCA Camp Surf founders were also recognized by the District Executive for Overnight Camps, Tom Madeyski. A highlight was seeing Dick Mason and Valentine Hoy reunited at the dedication. Captain Bill Fargo was represented by his son, board member Keith Fargo. All three founders were given the first three copies of a new book celebrating the first 50 years of YMCA Camp Surf.

The party started with a live band, great food, and a silent auction on the patio of beautiful McKinney Oceanfront Center. Guests later moved inside for dinner, a game of "Heads or Tails," and a live auction. The event is special. There is nothing like having fun during sunset on the beach to raise money for a great cause! Guests and sponsors raised almost $100,000 to support camper scholarship and camp projects.

To be an event sponsor, donate to the auction, or join us next year please contact Steve, the Development Director for Overnight Camping, at [email protected]

— Zayanne Thompson Executive Manager, YMCA Camp Surf

YMCA Camp Surf in Pictures

"The History of YMCA Camp Surf - The First 50 Years: 1969-2019" is a beautiful picture book that tells the story of camp and outlines events surrounding the people, facility, and programs of Camp Surf. It is available for purchase for $50 (including tax and shipping within the US) by contacting the Camp Surf office at 619-423-5850 or emailing Melissa at [email protected].

Pines to Palms Newsletter




For more pictures and news from camp, see the Pines to Palms newsletter for alumni and friends of YMCA Overnight Camps.